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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / December 18.
  • Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo Has Several NBA Workouts (UPDATED)

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    Kentucky “none-and-done” Hamidou Diallo had several NBA workouts this week, a league source told ZAGSBLOG.

    The 6-foot-6 Diallo worked out for the Chicago Bulls on Monday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s scheduled workout with the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets on Thursday are also slated to work out Villanova’s Josh Hart and Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey.

    Diallo also worked out for the Boston Celtics before the NBA Combine, the source said. The Celtics pick at No. 1 and also have three second-round picks.

    The Bulls pick at No. 16, the Bucks at 17 and the Nets have two picks in the 20s, No. 22 and 27.

    Diallo, who had a 44 1/2-inch vertical leap at last week’s NBA Draft Combine but did not play 5-on-5, is currently projected at No. 35 by DraftExpress.com.

    “I don’t think he helped or hurt himself,” DraftExpress.com analyst Jonathan Givony told the Herald-Leader. “There really wasn’t much to go on. So I don’t think it really affected anything either way.

    “The teams I’ve talked to, they don’t know much about him. I guess it’s just going to come down to these workouts now. Whatever he can show there. Because I don’t know what they’re going to draft him off of right now.”

    As an underclassmen testing the NBA Draft waters without an agent, Diallo has until May 24 to declare that he will return to college.

    Diallo hasn’t played competitive games in front of NBA personnel since Adam Finkelstein’s National Prep Showcase back in November. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, Kentucky assistant Tony Barbee and about 30 NBA scouts saw him then.

    “Based on what I saw tonight and this summer he should attend college and continue to develop his game,” one NBA scout said in November. “He’s athletic and flashes some skill but has a ways to go from being NBA ready. I think someone would draft him for his talent but it’s not about making the league, it’s about giving yourself the best chance to stick.”

    Diallo, of course, then enrolled at Kentucky in January but didn’t play a single game for the Wildcats. Now he’s testing the NBA Draft waters without an agent and has the option to return to college.

    It remains unclear if Diallo has a first-round guarantee but it only takes one team to be enticed by the combination of his age (18) and supreme athleticism.

    “Three teams in the 20s have multiple picks,” one industry source said. “I would definitely take him in that range.”

    “I would not be surprised myself if his combination of athleticism and skill opens some eyes, and then he’ll have a tough decision,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla said on The 4 Quarters Podcast. “Do you want to be the 25th pick in this year’s Draft, or do you want to have a chance to maybe be a top-10 pick after your freshman year? I don’t think there’s any question a team will take him in the first round, based on just his age, his size for a guard and that crazy combination of skill and athleticism.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.